About 20 years ago, a client came to me saying that she was more in love now than she had ever been in her life. As she continued discussing her current relationship, it seemed to me that she was talking about dysfunctional love—which is to say, unhealthy love.
I tried to explain the difference, but she wasn't picking up on my subtle hints. So, I quickly sketched a scale for her—a scale of love—to help her determine where her relationship fell on the spectrum of functionality. It helped. She was able to see a visible representation of love. She was able to see that love—even though it's love—isn't always healthy.
So I thought this scale might help other couples. I wondered if this rubric could be applied to other relationships as a tool for seeing how healthy two people's relationship styles are and where they have room to grow. And it's proven an invaluable resource for couples I've worked with ever since.
Are you in a healthy relationship or an unhealthy one? Is your partnership functional or falling apart? Let's take a look at the levels of love.